Raleigh Battery, Torpoint (near Plymouth), Cornwall, July 2019

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HughieD

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1. The History
Constructed between March 1890 and August 1894, this coastal defence barbette battery cost £4,963 to construct back in the day (about £600,000 in today's money). Originally intended to be a single 17-inch B.L. gun this counter bombardment battery was constructed between Hawkins battery and due-east of Maker Farm, on sloping land facing the sea, consisting of two 10-inch B.L. guns, one on an Elswick Ordnance Company Barbette mounting, the other on a Royal Carriage Department barbette mounting. They were located here to prevent ships lying at anchor off Cawsand Bay and to support Picklecombe Fort guarding approaches to Plymouth Sound.

The guns were side-by-side, separated by an underground magazines stores and linked by a tunnel that slopes down underneath a central earth traverse. There was one magazine to the north of the tunnel and two carriage stores (each with its own serving hatch) to the south. Each gun emplacement had an R.A. store, cartridge recess, a shell recess and a shelter for the gun crew, all built into the concrete gun apron. To the right of the right-hand gun emplacement was a water catchment area and tank. The caretaker’s office was on the opposite side which consisted of two bedrooms, a living room and a scullery. In between both of these were two Depression Range Finders (DRFs). Behind the left-hand battery was an oil store. There were no barracks and the battery was manned only at times of need.

Plan of Raleigh Battery:

43619413761_34facca7aa_b.jpgScreenshot_20180724-222436_Drive by HughieDW, on Flickr

The guns remained in-situ until 1908 after which they were placed in reserve. They were dismantled two years later in 1910. The MOD finally abandoned the site completely in 1946.

2. The Explore
Revisit almost a year to the day I last came here. Was nearby having been to Cremyll plus I wasn't 100% happy with my previous pictures so popping by was a no-brainer. There's a number of batteries around the Plym coastline but this one is one of my faves due to its secluded rural location and the fact it's not been trashed by the idiots. There appears to have been a bit of work been done on clearing the vegetation back a little but the battery still hasn't lost its abandoned charm. It's still used by the farmer as the right-hand battery with the Royal Carriage Department barbette mounting has a number of beehives in it.

3. The Pictures

Let's start at the eastern end of the battery.

The right-hand battery with the Royal Carriage Department barbette mounting:

48307950882_3069c28414_b.jpgimg1917 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307932137_62f1194c7a_b.jpgimg1927 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307831701_1d407b9fbc_b.jpgimg1919 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307829076_c17491ff0d_b.jpgimg1920 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307826626_1396d53c25_b.jpgimg1922 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307822221_f3acbec1d4_b.jpgimg1926 by HughieDW, on Flickr

I think this is something to do with the catchment and tank system:

48307824531_cc2d33508c_b.jpgimg1925 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This is the tunnel that has links the two gun emplacements and has the underground magazines off:

48307816881_26bb71362b_b.jpgimg1928 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48311131331_9e39c9e61e_b.jpgRaleigh 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307812406_3e8051130d_b.jpgimg1932 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307808021_8653ab19d9_b.jpgimg1937 by HughieDW, on Flickr


Off the tunnel to the south is Filled Shell Store No.1:

48307905532_e3aac14abe_b.jpgimg1944 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This is then subdivided into two magazines off a short corridor:

48307917692_049e6f7c19_b.jpgimg1939 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Magazine No.1:

48307801656_7391730154_b.jpgimg1941 by HughieDW, on Flickr]

48307799766_11c0792c78_b.jpgimg1942 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Magazine No.2:

48307915667_67f54b723d_b.jpgimg1940 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307907747_2298a40f20_b.jpgimg1943 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Back on the main tunnel to the north is the single room of Filled Share Store No.2:

48311130836_e051a2accd_b.jpgRaleigh 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Onto the western end of the battery:

48311129671_edb3c641f0_b.jpgRaleigh 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This small building is the oil store:

48311242382_0399bff5ae_b.jpgRaleigh 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307791161_8c0e32347d_b.jpgimg1950 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307890842_3710f58c0f_b.jpgimg1957 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48311129056_0a865f5cfe_b.jpgRaleigh 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48311240562_223b5fcf9e_b.jpgRaleigh 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

One of the two Depression Range Finders:

48307772811_78c769b603_b.jpgimg1965 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Finally, onto the caretaker's quarters:

48311239987_667109896b_b.jpgRaleigh 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48311127646_45a9758dd8_b.jpgRaleigh 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Manufacturer's stamp on the bricks (G.Jennings, Poole, Dorset)

https://poolemuseumsociety.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/george-jennings-and-the-growth-of-parkstone/

48311127021_64535aef5f_b.jpgRaleigh 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307876397_d1f28feafe_b.jpgimg1968 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48307756886_de6ff40e37_b.jpgimg1974 by HughieDW, on Flickr

There's a lead water tank round the back still:

48307760176_d25b46947f_b.jpgimg1973 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

theartist

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nature appears to be taking back the site. lovely brickwork..here in kent some sites are being cleaned up and made safe by NT. a slow process but better than nowt.
 

HughieD

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nature appears to be taking back the site. lovely brickwork..here in kent some sites are being cleaned up and made safe by NT. a slow process but better than nowt.

Given how good the brick-work looks in the tunnel I was wondering if it had been cleaned up...
 

Dirus_Strictus

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The water tank is still there because it is your bog standard; riveted galvanised iron, 100 gal item - worth nothing really. If it had been made from lead (which is almost impossible to rivet into a water tight container), it would have gone walkies decades ago!
 

HughieD

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The water tank is still there because it is your bog standard; riveted galvanised iron, 100 gal item - worth nothing really. If it had been made from lead (which is almost impossible to rivet into a water tight container), it would have gone walkies decades ago!

Ooops! Schoolboy error. You're very right Dirus.
 

Newage

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The place is a real cracker.

Cheers Newage
 
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